Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lana Del Rey – the story continues

You know how I like to keep you informed with everything Lana Del Rey, so here it’s a third article (read the first two here) about our favorite song bird. A lot has happened lately – so there is much to report!

The last year and a half has been full of both success and storms for her. Since the release of self made music video for Video Game she has been on everybody’s mind, succeeding to rise from total obscurity to worldwide fame.
She has received tons of mixed reactions from people: she is loved, mocked, obsessed over, hated, criticized and idolized at the same time - to the point of becoming literally exhausting. 


The Lana Del Rey media fire is still focused on her physical metamorphosis – mainly the visible change in her appearance (although not confirmed, is speculated she had her lips, and maybe nose done before reinventing herself as Lana Del Rey).
 
Some believe that by transforming herself into every boys dream and every girl’ standard she has chosen the easy path, deciding that her old self (Lizzie/Elisabeth Grant) and the road to stardom trough hard work, talent and dedication is not the way to go. I for one call those people hypocrites, is not like she has no talent to speak of!


Maybe she made it big relaying a great deal on her image, but remember, we live in a society where sexualization has been and is largely used to sell music and pretty much everything else. Is the way of the business and it’s the way of things! The truth is we live in a world where talent and hard work are sadly not enough. Still, let’s face it, at the end of the day, her songs are the ones stuck in our heeds. If she needed to change some things about her for that to happen, I’m not going to label her a sellout for as little as that.

Don’t get me wrong! I don’t deny all the commercial support that Lana has received in order to become the success that she is, but to dismiss all of her based on solely that, is pure ignorance. The speculations about Lana Del Rey’s alleged plastic surgeries seem to have no end. 

Yes, she looks different now compared to the time she was known as Lizzy Grant. But what I see analyzing the before and after Lizzie Grant/Lana Del Rey pictures is more the result of a complete makeover than anything else. 

Besides, the before pictures are few and not the greatest quality and the ones after are from big magazines and show us a star in full hair, makeup and expensive wardrobe, so the comparison is pretty unfair. I’m not a plastic surgeon and I have no expertise in the field but, I don’t really see a massive change in her features, is more about the hair style, makeup and clothes. She does have a great stylist!

The best "before" pictures I could find!

What I do know is that, when asked if she had anything done, she completely denied it. Here's what she said in an interview she gave to Complex: "I haven't had anything done at all. Anyone who's known me will tell you that. I'm sorry, but I was living in a trailer park for a few years. I didn't even have enough money to buy Cocoa Puffs. It's not like I crawled from under the bridge and got surgery. I'm quite pouty. That's just how I look when I sing." 

In another interview, this time for T magazine, she added this about her lips: "They're real lips, I mean. In real life my lips don't look that big. I think because I cartoonized the footage of myself in the video for "Video Games" things look exaggerated.” Unfortunately she did not convince a lot of people and there is still a lot of gossip regarding the possible lip implants. 

I don’t find that to be the big deal that everyone is making it to be, I mean, who cares if she had her lips done or not, she looks and sounds great and that it’s the most important thing.


Despite all of this Lana has sold over 2.8 million copies worldwide, she received a BRIT Award for “International Breakthrough Act,” an Ivor Novello award for excellence in music writing, more then 20 million people have watched Video Games on YouTube, her album has been number 1 in 11 countries and she received the GQ Award for “Woman of the Year”.


Random facts about Lana: 
  • Lana Del Rey height is 1.69 m
  • she’s 26 years old and 
  • she’s really good friends with actress Jaime King (Lemon from Hart of Dixie)
  • this is Lana Del Rey’s twitter account

The last time we discussed Lana the media was talking about her performance on SNL and it was almost a consensus that she was terrible. But time has passed and things happened. Lana had great success in the U.K, even more than in the US and the haters were keen to vocalize that maybe the British didn’t heard the SNL disaster. But wait… Lana went on Later… with Jools Holland and her performance wasn’t much better than the one in the USA and now the Brits have their own version of that bad performance.

Performing live is not Lana Del Rey’s strong point; she seems to crumble under the pressure sometimes which leads to some poor performances mixed in with great ones. These inconsistencies can actually be explained otherwise as well: her recorded songs employ vocal multi-layering, double tracking and overlays that are hard to replicate live without backing singers or perfect conditions to create the mood.


But don’t be too harsh on Lana, remember she’s a human being with real feeling that can be hurt and she admitted she suffered after her SNL performance was so criticized: “It didn’t affect my writing, but it affected my happiness,” she said. “I became depressed.”
 
To celebrate the crazy success she had with her album, Lana has re-released it under the name Born to Die: The Paradise Edition, an emotional roller coaster that includes all the original tracks from the initial album and nine new tracks. The new tracks are just what you will expect from her, an exploration of the initial songs, somehow darker, but still ethereal and sexy, the kind of songs that suit her voice so well. 

In case you are wondering about her tattoos, they say: trust no one (right hand) and paradise (left hand). She has 3 more tattoos: a letter M on her left hand that (probably) stands for her grandmother “Madeleine”, die young on her ring finger (of the right hand) and finally “Nabokov Whitman” on her right arm standing for writer Vladimir Nabokov and poet Walt Whitman that are a constant inspirations in her lyrics as shown in two of her song: Lolita and I Sing The Body Electric.


She even released a video/short film for the lead single on this new album: Ride, the emotionally-charged track, with lyrics like: “Been trying hard not to get into trouble / but I’ve got a war in my mind.”

The video is ten minutes long and tells the story of her relationship with a leather-clad biker and has gotten a lot of reactions, both good and bad. For the good part, people are enchanted by the lyrics and melody and the cinematography is beautiful, also Lana looks amazing. The bad part is that she kind of romanticizes prostitution; also she does some culturally inappropriate things like dancing in a Native American headdress. I’m not even going to go there – I just fell some people take things way too seriously.


The new songs on the album are: "American," "Cola," "Body Electric," "Gods and Monsters," "Yayo," "Bel Air", and "Blue Velvet" (a cover after Bobby Vinton)" which is being used as part of her H&M ad campaign.

Another track that got a lot of attention is Cola where Lana made a very personal comment with the opening line being: “My p***y tastes like Pepsi Cola / My eyes are wide like cherry pies”. With a start like that do I need to explain further? Yeah, that’s what I thought!
Lana Del Rey by Richard Davies

She also had lots of concerts lately. The general impression is that while her general persona and her image in her music videos is that of a overconfident, bad girl, getting high and exploring all the dark places, her presence on stage is somehow off sync with her music/lyrics, appearing more like a goody too shoes or a retro prom queen.

Lana herself admits that she is shy in front of an audience: “The way that I look on stage in front of thousands of people is not really my thing but I do my best."


From everything I read about miss Lana, I could gather that she had some crazy teenage years; she was a bit of black sheep, having serious problems with alcohol at only 14 which resulted in her being shipped to boarding school to solve the aforementioned problems.

She admitted in an interview: "I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born to Die is about these wilderness years. My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, 'I'm f***ed. I am totally f***ed'."


Her love life seems to go great as she has been dating Barrie-James O'Neill since February 2012. Lana Del Rey’s boyfriend is a rocker in the band named Kassidy (very popular in Scotland).



You might have also noticed that Lana became the face of the Fall/Winter campaign for H&M (the huge banners everywhere might have served as solid clues). I know Lana’s hair is the stuff of legend, but I wasn’t in love with that campaign, they failed with the whole styling - making her hair look like a scary beehive and all that. You don't mess with Lana Del Rey's hair - much like Samson's, her power resides in there, we all know it, those extensions are sacred.

But what got even more attention was one pictorial that she did, namely the one where she posed naked on GQ front cover after being named the magazine's 'Woman of the Year'.

The British GQ launched its Man of the Year issue with five alternative covers featuring Tinie Tempah, Robbie Williams, John Slatter, James Corden and Lana Del Rey. But while all the men are dressed in suits and matching bow-ties, Lana isn't wearing anything at all (if you don’t count the magic red hair).

As expected, the cover attracted a lot of criticism from all around the web with people calling it "internalized sexism". And if you are wondering whose hand is that in the pictures (grabbing her b**b) wonder no more, Lana herself has clarified that: “Paul, the creative director, was very hands on with the shoot”. I do get the sexism part but from a pure aesthetic point a view,  she does look amazing on the cover and in the spread.



Let’s not forget the fact she signed a six-figure deal with Jaguar becoming the face of their new sport car - Jaguar F-Type. Her song Burning Desire was chosen as the soundtrack to a short film which was created by Jaguar in association with Ridley Scott Associates to promote the car.


In the fashion field she worked with Mulberry who designed a bag for her, the “Del Rey” bag (a Lana Del Rey’s Mulberry Bag is worth $1000).  She was also signed by Next model agency.


Another big thing was the fact that she was named the Most Popular Woman on the Web in 2012 according to Google. The search Lana Del Rey got over 722,000,000 results.

For 2013 Lana Del Ray plans to tour the UK to support the release of her new album.

Despite or maybe because of all the controversy and the backlash that she received, she keeps on going on, becoming more and more successful and proving that all her detractors are wrong.
Lana Del Rey artwork by Helen Green
Photos: 1, 2.
I hope some of you actually got to the end of this article in one piece and can share your opinion! Is it love, is it hate, do you even care?

33 comentarii :

Barbara vanessa said...

I really love her so much,all her's songs are so inspirational and i hope she makes a new album *-* x
http://thelittlefashionistafx.blogspot.pt/

Dora said...

I am not especially crazy over her music but I love her style. I enjoyed reading this post very much:)

Chai Chen said...

For whatever issue, one thing's for sure - she's definitely become one of the hottest sensations! Woot! :) Oh yes - her body is most coveted! Every girl's standard? Hmmm ... maybe! Darn I wish my body's like that! :p

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Rudaaa12 said...

kocham ją!:)

Anaivilo said...

I became obsessed this past Summer with her. I listened to every single track without stopping and now I am doing the same with the new tracks :D

Agnieszka (Aga) Guerrero Olesinska said...

Stunning pictures
Kisses
Aga

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Danika said...

I love her!!! <3!!! Visit http://www.urbanfashionstylee.blogspot.mx and check my new post!!

Miss-Peacock said...

I heard by so many men that they don't like her, but her look is amazing!

xx

Miss-Peacock

Gemma Talbot said...

Lana Del Ray is beautiful! Her style is effortless and chic. I loved her collaboration with H&M. Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog xx

http://whatisinherwardrobe.blogspot.co.uk

Diva In Me said...

I definitely love her hairstyle. She's very "old hollywood" type of girl =)

Giada Graziano said...

love her style! sh's always gorgeous!

GlamObserver

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Giada Graziano said...

love her style! sh's always gorgeous!

GlamObserver

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Facebook
Twitter

blackberryfashion said...

She is amazing!! and it's so funny that I'm listening to Lana del Ray at the moment xD

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Andreia Sofia said...

I love Lana Del Rey!
Your blog is amazing! Following you, xoxo

emily.mcintyre said...

Well, I don't have an opinion about Lana del Ray, and haven't heard much of her music, but your excellent post has me convinced I should check her out!

Macedonia de Belleza said...

You gotta have a strong persanality to exposed yourself to the public eye and survive! ;)

Every Wear I Go said...

All I know is that she has great hair!

Followed you back on GFC :)

everywearigo.blogspot.com

Sophie-Pearl said...

I got to the end :) Great pics and she looks so different xx
thanks for the follow over at www.imitationisthegreatestformofflattery.blogspot.co.uk and I now follow you too x

Mellissa Rondinelli said...

Gorgeous photos!

Shia

Lidia said...

I really don't like Lana del Rey not his musicand not his image although the article was interesting, so I follow you back!

XX

Bella Mosqueda said...

OMG this post is perfection. I'm in love with Elizabeth (Lana)!

Louise Belot said...

Thanks for your lovely comment and following me! Your blog is beautiful love this post too! I'm now following you xo :)

http://freckleandstreak.blogspot.com.au/

Visceral Maze said...

I love her. I do agree that she did go through a major makeover. Thank you for following me. I am following you back on bloglovin and gfc as well.

www.visceralmaze.blogspot.com

Anu

Haylee Mae said...

I love love love this post, Lana is lovely, naturally and made up. She has something about her, vintagey and unreal that I love

Not to mention she has AMAZING style

xoxo Haylee
http://www.dolledupdaily.com/

Yohana Santos said...

Thanks for follow my blog. I follow you back

Mua ;) Blog YohanaSant

shine star said...

I love her, she is so talented. Her songs, her look are perfect ;)

http://letmeloveyou1.blogspot.com/

Mad Lola said...

LOve this girl, she's so cute... Thanks for visiting our blog and follow, we're following you back!
kisses

http://madlolaa.blogspot.com.es/

anapas said...

It´s clear that she´s a wonderful woman!!!
You´ve done a post very completed!!!
Celebrations!!!

anapas
www.charadaporlavida.com

Laura said...

Thanks for your words!
I love your blog! It is very beatiful!

I hope you visit in my blog soon
http://nereidatlantica.blogspot.com.es/

Kisses Sara! <3

Arianna Gallo said...

Lovely!!!

XOXO
Arianna

http://aryannastyle.blogspot.it/

Arianna Gallo said...

Lovely!!!

XOXO
Arianna

http://aryannastyle.blogspot.it/

still_ill83 said...

i love lana! totally obsessed with her music. This little article was cool though :D

smartstylewithstephanie.blogspot.com

Linnea Flores said...

I really loved the article. It was brilliantly written and unbiased. It is nice to see another fan out there who doesn't just defend everything she says and does but tells what she's truthfully stated in interviews, whether it paints the best picture or not.. your letting the readers decide and I think that is great.
And on a side note, I do personally love everything about her, from her style, to her writing and that fact that she suffers from a form of stage fright. I had suffered that way for many years, it took me singing karaoke in bars every night of the week for several years with the company of my mom before i learned to overcome it. So I think it's great she's not afraid to look human under all the make-up and hair.

Great Job, Linnnea Loree Flores

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